What makes a good teacher?

This question has been bothering me since I started teaching a couple years ago. In my head I have a pretty good idea what makes a good teacher, and I can sit in on a class and immediately tell whether a teacher is effective or not, but it’s still difficult to form an answer with which I’m completely satisfied.
It was interesting to see Malcolm Gladwell’s take on this in the New Yorker: Most Likely to Succeed

5 Replies to “What makes a good teacher?”

  1. Gladwell takes complicated issues and simplifies them. He thinks that makes him smart, but it really just makes him clever by half.

  2. There are wonderful insights in Mr. Gladwell’s articles and books which I also appreciate and use in my courses.
    After cogitating on this topic, I wonder if you understand now, why I fought so hard to find you the good teachers in all the schools you attended, and why I’d take you out of a bad teacher’s class. It can be damaging so a child, especially when many of the teachers are racist or just plain mean and dumber than dirt.
    I wish I could have done better in finding the teachers who had that passion and zeal for teaching, who made it fun to learn and who let you be the freakishly bright kid you were without trying to get you to take ADD meds to make you “be quiet and sit still”.
    Keep on questioning intelligently….read Krishnamurti’s book on educating the child, one of the primers on allowing brilliance to shine!

  3. I think that the best teachers are really a blend of mentor, student and facilitator. Sometimes it takes time to realize that you’ve been in the presence of someone who has placed an appropriate set of challenges in front of you to help you grow.
    A teacher can often be measured by the strength of the community that they are able to build both within the classroom and in the larger world outside…

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